Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Teves 5765 - January 5, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Netanya Budget Includes Kollel Funding for First Time

By Y. Ariel

For the first time in the history of Netanya, the capital of the Sharon Region, a paragraph has been introduced into the municipal budget for 2005 to provide funding for yeshivas and kollelim following a prolonged struggle by Degel HaTorah councilmen. Shinui representatives tried to torpedo the initiative but Rabbi Moshe Lachover and Rabbi Yaakov Levy of Degel HaTorah won broad support in the city council.

Last week Degel HaTorah representatives in Netanya voted in favor of the municipal budget, which includes NIS 250,000 ($60,000) in funding for kollelim. The two representatives presented their constituents with an impressive record of achievements in education and welfare that were reflected in the budget.

In the previous elections, with blessings from gedolei Yisroel, Degel HaTorah representatives managed to win seats on the city council for the first time and now the two representatives can point to a list of accomplishments.

Through their efforts the Mayor approved an additional sum of NIS 100,000 ($25,000) for welfare organizations that work to provide food for needy families. The municipal welfare budget was increased by 5 percent and four new positions were opened for social workers. As head of the Welfare Department Rabbi Levy was able to secure the additional funding.

The City Council also approved an NIS 500,000 ($115,000) project in cooperation with Yad Eliezer. During the course of the year 60 avreichim from the city will tutor talmud Torah students in need of help with their studies. Also NIS 200,000 ($45,000) in support funding for the new chareidi community center and NIS 100,000 ($25,000) for chareidi cultural activities will be made available.

These achievements irked Shinui councilmen, who lashed out against Netanya Mayor Mrs. Feirberg-Achar for "her surrender to the chareidim." In response the two Degel HaTorah representatives silenced the Shinui representatives, asking them to elevate themselves rather than engaging in repulsive, irrelevant attacks. Rabbi Lachover spoke harshly against them, accusing Shinui of being "automatic scarecrows" who oppose every religious matter without evaluating it. "Nobody relates to you seriously anymore, even in other matters, when you drag every matter toward the anti- religious," he told them.

Rabbi Yaakov Levy referred to them as Lapid clones, setting off an hour-long tempest. The council members were persuaded and voted in favor of the budget by a large majority, with the inclusion of support for Torah-based projects and endeavors. The Degel HaTorah representatives noted shortly before the vote the Mayor promised them the budget would be updated during the course of the year to improve the state of chareidi institutions.


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